Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Quarter of Teachers Want to Leave the Profession

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Quarter of Teachers Want to Leave the Profession

Article excerpt

Workload is at the heart of why many in schools are thinking of leaving the classroom, research finds

The number of teachers considering leaving the profession has increased significantly over the last year, new research has found.

And less than half of state-school teachers are engaged in their role, while more than a third remain ambivalent, according to a report from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).

Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of teachers were considering quitting teaching, compared to just 17 per cent in June 2015; the study, partly based on a poll of more than 2,000 teachers in England, found.

Meanwhile, the proportion of teachers who had identified an alternative to teaching doubled from summer 2015, from 6 per cent to 12 per cent.

Unions argue that the pace of policy reform during the academic year 2015/16 has played a major role in the rise of teachers seeking to leave by adding to an already significant workload.

Workload woes

The NFER, which carried out a series of surveys and interviews with teachers between June 2015 to May this year, recognises that "workload is at the centre" of why teachers consider leaving.

But the charity suggests keeping staff engaged can also help improve retention rates despite the pressures.

Job satisfaction, having adequate resources, reward and recognition, and being well supported by management were among the factors associated with successful retention in the research.

The new report, Engaging Teachers - NFER Analysis of Teacher Retention, reveals a strong relationship between teacher engagement and their desire to leave. It found that 90 per cent of engaged teachers have no plans to leave, compared to just 26 per cent of disengaged teachers.

Maths teachers and senior leaders are less likely to consider leaving and are also more highly engaged, the report finds. But science teachers and experienced male teachers are significantly more likely to consider leaving, even after accounting for their relatively high level of engagement.

Teachers are 'exhausted'

The research acknowledges that engaged teachers are not immune from considering leaving the profession. …

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